VIDEO: Man jumps into Hillsborough river to avoid law enforcement

Man Jumps in Hillsborough River While Fleeing Officers

HILLSBOROUGH (WWSB) - One man tried to avoid Florida deputies by jumping into Hillsborough river, but wasn’t successful.

On Tuesday, July 23, troopers say 43-year-old Jack Knapper rear ended a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detective in an unmarked vehicle while the detective was stopped at a red light on Bruce B Downs Boulevard, just south of Commerce Palms Boulevard.

Troopers say they tried to pull Knapper over for a traffic investigation, but he did not stop. A short time later, troopers were called when a tipster spotted Knapper on I-75, just north of the Fletcher Avenue exit.

Florida Highway Patrol says as troopers neared, Knapper got out of his car and ran into a heavily wooded area before jumping into the Hillsborough River. FHP says a trooper and a deputy jumped into the river to get the suspect as the sheriff’s office helicopter hovered overhead.

Knapper was taken into custody and charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash, Fleeing to Elude, Driving without a Valid License and Resisting Arrest without Violence. Deputies say he could also possibly face DUI charges.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome in this case. Our HCSO deputies and FHP troopers worked together seamlessly to take a dangerous driver off of the road and take him into custody without anyone getting hurt,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Criminals don’t care about county lines or whose jurisdiction they are in, so it’s up to us as law enforcement officers to work as a team to keep our communities safe. I’m proud to say we did just that.”

Due to the Knapper jumping into the river, he was taken to Tampa General Hospital to get checked for exhaustion.

Copyright 2019 WWSB. All rights reserved.